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Proposal to end Hollywood writers strike met with repulsion

Writers have been on strike since May, but the first counterproposal to come from the industry was quickly decried by the union.
Proposal to end Hollywood writers strike met with repulsion
Posted at 10:34 AM, Aug 23, 2023

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers has released its proposed contract with writers as the two sides hope to end an impasse that has kept the TV and film industries on hold.

According to the AMPTP, the proposal would mark the highest wage increases in the industry in 35 years, and would increase pay by 13% over three years. 

The AMPTP also says its new proposal puts in "safeguards" so writers won't be disadvantaged by artificial intelligence. 

"The companies confirm that because GAI is not a person, it is not a ‘writer’ or ‘professional writer’ as defined in this MBA and, therefore, written material produced by GAI will not be considered literary material under this or any prior MBA," the AMPTP says. "The proposal provides important safeguards to prevent writers from being disadvantaged if any part of the script is based on GAI-produced material, so that the writer’s compensation, credit and separated rights will not be affected by the use of GAI-produced material."

The proposal also comes with guarantees of minimum employment for writers in the development room, and first-ever terms guaranteeing residuals from shows for streaming services. 

“Our priority is to end the strike so that valued members of the creative community can return to what they do best and to end the hardships that so many people and businesses that service the industry are experiencing," Carol Lombardini, president of the AMPTP, said. "We have come to the table with an offer that meets the priority concerns the writers have expressed. We are deeply committed to ending the strike and are hopeful that the WGA will work toward the same resolution.”

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Leaders for the Writers Guild of America were not happy with the proposal. The WGA said this was the first counterproposal it has received in the nearly four-month-long strike. 

"We explained all the ways in which their counter’s limitations and loopholes and omissions failed to sufficiently protect writers from the existential threats that caused us to strike in the first place. We told them that a strike has a price, and that price is an answer to all — and not just some — of the problems they have created in the business," the WGA negotiating committee said. "But this wasn’t a meeting to make a deal. This was a meeting to get us to cave, which is why, not twenty minutes after we left the meeting, the AMPTP released its summary of their proposals. 

"This was the companies’ plan from the beginning — not to bargain, but to jam us. It is their only strategy – to bet that we will turn on each other."

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